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George Smith

Professor George Smith FRS
Emeritus Professor of Materials

Department of Materials
University of Oxford
16 Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PH

Tel: +44 1865 273762 (Room 179.30.22)
Tel: +44 1865 273777 (reception)
Fax: +44 1865 273789 (general fax)

Atom Probe Group Homepage

Summary of Interests

Nanoscience and nanotechnology.  Atom probe analysis. Phase transformations.  The role of alloy elements and trace additions on the microstructure, heat treatment and properties of steels and non-ferrous alloys. Materials for applications in nuclear fission and fusion reactors.  Atomic scale studies of heterogeneous catalysis.

  • Institute of Materials Platinum Medal 2006
  • Acta Materialia Gold Medal 2005
  • NPL National Award for Innovation in Measurement 2004
  • Rosenhain Medal and Prize, 1991
  • Sir George Beilby Medal and Prize, 1985

Current Research Projects

Irradiation effects in Fe-Cr alloys
R. Hu, Dr. E.A. Marquis
With the increasing need for developing nuclear power as a major energy source, the iron-chromium based steels, which are considered as structural materials for future nuclear reactors, have attracted a huge amount of industrial interest due to their good properties under extreme conditions, such as high strength, and resistance to radiation damage and corrosion at high temperature. Neutron irradiation can induce a change in both microstructure and microchemistry, and result in degradation of the mechanical properties. Radiation-induced segregation/depletion (RIS/RID) of solute atoms at grain boundaries in particular is believed to be one of the most important radiation effects. The objective of this project is to address the outstanding issues related to the prediction of Cr segregation or depletion at grain boundaries and the precipitation of alpha prime phase under irradiation.

Hydrogen Embrittlement in Steels
Dr M.P. Moody, Dr. P.A.J. Bagot
A dedicated environmental cell is being designed and constructed for installation on our Local Electrode Atom Probe instrument. This will enable the study of hydrogen charging in a range of steels, aiming to understand the microstructural changes to bearing steels operating in demanding environments

Bulk nanostructured Al based alloys
H. Begg, Professor P.S. Grant
We are researching fibrular and laminate nanocomposites manufactured either by spray forming, casting, plasma spraying or powder processing, followed by high strain processing by extrusion. Systems of interest are primarily aluminium base and include both ultrahigh strength nanoquasicrystalline alloys ductilised with other Al alloy fibres and immiscible systems. Characterisation includes electron microscopy and X-ray diffractometry. Funded by EPSRC.

Studies of advanced electronic materials with a pulsed laser 3-dimensional atom probe
M. Mueller, Professor G.D.W. Smith
Whilst the 3-dimensional atom probe technique is widely used for studying metallic alloys, the use of a high voltage pulse to remove atoms from the specimen surface limits the application of the technique in the area of semiconductors and highly resistive materials. However, laser pulsing can be used to overcome this problem. This project isinvestigating the use of laser pulsing in the 3D atom probe and its effect on the range of materials that can be analysed and the quantitativity of the results obtained. The instrument will be used to study specific problems in advanced electronic materials and devices, with materials being provided by a number of industrial collaborators. (Funded by EPSRC)

Piston development for high performance cars applications
Dr. M.L. Galano, Professor F. Audebert*, Professor G.D.W. Smith
Optimization of processing and composition of nanostructured Al based alloys for the development of automotive parts undergoing high strength at elevated temperature working environment. (*University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Atom Probe Studies of Aerospace alloys
Dr P.A.J. Bagot, Prof. M.P. Moody
Atom Probe Tomography and complementary high-resolution characterization methods are being employed to study a range of important aerospace materials (Ni and Ti alloys) in order to develop a better understanding of how they behave in-service. In conjunction with Rolls-Royce plc.

6 public active projects

Research Publications

2011 Hatfield Lecture "How safe is that nuclear reactor?"  Video and PDF of slides.

Nanoscale characterisation of ODS Eurofer97 Steel: an atom-probe tomography study, C. Williams, E.A. Marquis, A. Cerezo, G.D.W. Smith , (2010) Journal of Nuclear Materials 400 (1) 37-45.

B. Gault, M. Müller, A. La Fontaine, M.P. Moody, A. Shariq, A. Cerezo, S.P. Ringer, G.D.W. Smith, (2010) Influence of surface migration on the spatial resolution of pulsed laser atom probe tomography, Journal of Applied Physics 108 044904.

E.A. Marquis, J.M. Hyde, D.W. Saxey, S. Lozano-Perez, V. de Castro, D. Hudson, C. Williams, S. Humphry-Baker, and G.D.W. Smith, Nuclear reactor materials at the atomic scale, (2009) Materials Today, 12, (11) 32-39.

E.A. Marquis, M.K. Miller, D. Blavette, S.P. Ringer, C.K. Sudbrack, G.D.W. Smith, Structural materials: Understanding atomic scale microstructures, (2009) MRS Bulletin,  34 725 – 730

A. Morley, G. Sha, S. Hirosawa, A. Cerezo and G.D.W. Smith, Determining the Composition of Small Features in Atom Probe: bcc Cu-rich Precipitates in an Fe-rich Matrix. (2009)   Ultramicroscopy 109 pp. 535 – 540.

P.A.J. Bagot, A. Cerezo, G.D.W. Smith. 3D atom probe study of gaseous adsorption on alloy catalyst surfaces III: Ternary alloys – NO on Pt–Rh–Ru and Pt–Rh–Ir.  (2008) Surf Sci.  602 1381-91

P.A.J. Bagot, A. Cerezo and G.D.W. Smith. 3D atom probe study of gas adsorption and reaction on alloy catalyst surfaces II: Results on Pt and Pt-Rh. (2007) Surf. Sci. 601 2245-55.

Bagot, P.A.J., de Bocarme, T.V., Cerezo, A. and Smith, G.D.W. (2006). '3D atom probe study of gas adsorption and reaction on alloy catalyst surfaces I: Instrumentation' Surface Science 600(15) 3028-3035.

Cerezo, A., Smith, G.D.W. and Clifton, P.H. (2006). 'Measurement of temperature rises in the femtosecond laser pulsed three-dimensional atom probe' Applied Physics Letters 88(15).

Lozano-Perez, S., Sha, G., Titchmarsh, J.M., Jenkins, M.L., Hirosawa, S., Cerezo, A. and Smith, G.D.W. (2006). 'Comparison of the number densities of nanosized Cu-rich precipitates in ferritic alloys measured using EELS and EDX mapping, HREM and 3DAP' Journal of Materials Science 41(9) 2559-2565.

Morley, A.I., Zandbergen, M.W., Cerezo, A. and Smith, G.D.W. (2006). 'The effect of pre-ageing and addition of copper on the precipitation behaviour in Al-Mg-Si alloys'. "Aluminium Alloys 2006, Pts 1 and 2". 519-521 543-548.

Smith, G.D.W. and Cerezo, A. (2005). '3D Atom Probe Applications: Past Present and Future'. Microscopy and Microanalysis 11, Suppl. 2 94-95.

Humphreys, E.S., Fletcher, H.A., Hutchins, J.D., Garratt-Reed, A.J., Reynolds, W.T., Aaronson, H.I., Purdy, G.R. and Smith, G.D.W.: 'Molybdenum accumulation at Ferrite: Austenite interfaces during isothermal transformation of an Fe-0.24 Pct C-0.93 Pct Mo alloy.' Metallurgical And Materials Transactions A-Physical Metallurgy And Materials Science 35A (4) (2004) 1223-1235.

Cerezo A., Hirosawa S., Rozdilsky I. and Smith G.D.W.: 'Combined atomic-scale modelling and experimental studies of nucleation in the solid state' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series A - Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences 361, 463-476 (2003).

S. Lozano-Perez, T. Yamada, T. Terachi, M. Schroeder, C.A. English, G.D.W. Smith and B.L. Eyre, Multi-scale Characterisation of Stress Corrosion Cracking of Cold Worked Stainless Steels and the Influence of Cr Content on the Crack Tip Chemistry, (2009) Acta Materialia 57 5361 – 5381.

Chen Zhu, A. Cerezo and G.D.W. Smith. Carbide Characterisation in Low Temperature Tempered Steels, (2009) Ultramicroscopy 109 pp. 545 – 552.

Y. Aruga, D. Saxey, E.A. Marquis, H. Shishido, Y. Sumino, A. Cerezo and G.D.W. Smith, Effect of Solute Clusters on Stress Relaxation Behaviour in Cu-Ni-P Alloys, (2009) Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A 40A 2888-2900.